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Online Consultation on the CFS Global Strategic Framework

Dear colleagues,

The process of developing the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF) is progressing well. The First Draft of this important document has been or will be discussed at the FAO Regional Conferences (March - May 2012), and online through the Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Forum (12th March to 15th May 2012).

We would like to invite you to take an active part in the online consultation by providing written comments on the First Draft. These comments will feed into the preparation of the Second Draft, which will be examined at a CFS consultation in Rome in June 2012, and eventually into the First Version of the GSF to be submitted to the October 2012 Plenary Session of the CFS.

Last year’s online consultation on the Annotated Outline of the GSF was quite broad in scope, receiving individual as well as collective contributions, which provided a great deal of input to the First Draft of the GSF. However, on this occasion we would like the online consultation to be limited to collective contributions, such as from member governments, organizations, institutions and networks.

When providing comments on the First Draft, please bear in mind the following guidelines used in its preparation:

  • The GSF is intended to be a dynamic document that will be updated from time to time to reflect regular CFS processes, policy debates and changing priorities; the First Version should therefore focus on the most important agreed decisions and frameworks; 
  • The preparation of the First Version should avoid including any material that would require an exhaustive negotiation of text;
  • The main focus of the First Version would be to present issues on which there is a broad existing consensus, taking into account (i) CFS’s own decisions/recommendations, and (ii) directly relevant policy/other frameworks;
  • The First Version should limit itself to simply highlighting other issues of importance where there is no consensus and where further work is required to achieve convergence.

We would ask you to focus your comments on the following key questions:

  • Does the First Draft present key issues of food security and nutrition on which there is broad regional and international consensus?
  • Does the list of areas where there are gaps in policy convergence that may be addressed in future versions of the GSF need to be amended?
  • Does the document have sufficient practical regional and country-level relevance? Can you suggest improvements?
  • How can the GSF be linked to regional and national food security and nutrition frameworks and strategies, and accountability and monitoring mechanisms, in ways that promote two-way coordination and convergence?

In addition to the above points, please note that the Second Draft of the GSF, to be prepared by May 2012, will also contain a series of boxes with case studies that illustrate best practices related to the policy recommendations in Chapter IV. You could greatly assist us in this process by proposing innovative examples that we might include. The emphasis should be on how application of best practice in these areas has translated into significant positive outcomes for target beneficiaries – hungry and malnourished people in developing countries.

You can download the First Draft of the GSF here, but please note that we cannot accept any comments made on the document itself using the track changes tool. We would also urge you to keep your contributions to this consultation as concise and focused as possible – case studies, for example, should not exceed 500 words, and preferably should be shorter than that.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this important consultation.

Kostas Stamoulis
CFS Secretary

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Total comments: 32

IFSN and ActionAid , Shahidur Rahman , , Civil society and non-governmental organizations

Comments The Global Strategic Framework (GSF) can play an important role to support government actions by providing policy guidance coming from the decision makers, international agencies, private sector, CSOs, grassroots movements and networks. The GSF needs to reflect the needs and the demands from people at the grassroots level, especially from the most vulnerable i.e. small food producers, women, indigenous groups, who feed 80 percent of the world population. All the Governments must commit to fully adopt and implement a pro-poor GSF to achieve food and nutritional security (FNS) and take concrete measures to support women’s groups, youth, children, elderly and indigenous people. In the draft GSF document we welcome the attention to; sustainable model of agriculture with emphasis on agroecology, gender perspective throughout the document, and a strong reference to Voluntary Guidelines on responsible tenure of land, fisheries and forests. Although the document emphasize on addressing the needs of women as a vulnerable group, we expect a stronger reference of women’s rights to achieve FNS. IFSN and ActionAid have compiled comments from 15 national networks from 3 continents on the draft GSF document. This following submission presents a summary of their comments, concerns and remarks collected through a four week long consultation with national food security networks. Q1. Does the First Draft present the key food security and nutrition issues on which you have broad consensus at regional and international level? The ‘root causes of hunger and the challenge ahead’ section of draft GSF is one of the most relevant as all policies and strategies developed in the document will emerge from it. However, we found the following elements missing in the analysis: The unequal distribution of productive resources like land, credit, knowledge, etc deserve a specific mention in this section since there is a large consensus that unequal distribution of resources is one of the causes of hunger- creating disparity among people and preventing the poorest from accessing food and other resources. The importance of social protection for the extremely poor, the old, and children living in hunger affected areas needs to be strengthened in the paper. Better access to market for the small food producers must go along hand in hand with social protection interventions like school feeding, cereal banks, food coupons for the vulnerable. One of the barriers for the small food producer is the lack of finance in the rural area that should be accessible on time, with agreeable interest rates. On the other hand crop and harvests are destroyed due to sudden disasters while the small food producers do not have rural insurance at their doorsteps. Thus finance for small food producers and crop insurance for smallholder farmers should be recommended. Adaptation to climate change needs to be strengthened in this section. This must be supported with the need for a better weather forecasting system that will support farmers with accurate weather related information and possible affect on their harvest. The farmers, fisherfloks, forest dwellers and pastoralists groups also need long-term weather and climatic forecasting especially on droughts, flood, and other natural disasters. Children, minority community and the people with disabilities should be considered as vulnerable groups in addition to women. Q2 should the list of areas where there are gaps in policy convergence be addressed and necessary amendments be made to the GSF? The document should include the following areas that are much debated and still controversial: The private investors as a result of weak governance by states continue grabbing the natural resources. According to the ILC reports from 2000 to 2010 around 203 million of hectares of land have been transferred collapsing the rights of rural communities; The document refers to investment in agriculture however increase in investment specifically towards smallholder sustainable agriculture is essential to ensure climate friendly food production and livelihoods security. This point is very weak in the document and needs to be strengthened together with the need of reorientation of research and extension systems ensuring climate friendly results of sustainable agriculture investment. Creating access to water and irrigation is important for a sustainable use of water. Governments must invest on small scale irrigation and build water harvesting infrastructure to manage the scarce water resources arising due to increasing climate variability ; International trade in food should be addressed within the CFS with a right to food perspective. We believe trade in food should not compromise on national and local food sovereignty and ensure better prices for small scale food producers. The trade should address the volatility of food prices instead of creating it. We demand an end to financial speculation in food commodities. Governments should take measures to regulate hyper inflation in food items. Private sector should comply with these regulations. The extremely important issue of chemical pesticide and food poisoning should be incorporated, as it is completely absent in the present document. Concentration of power within the value chain with greater vertical and horizontal integration leads to the exclusion of smallholders from the market. In an unregulated market, the small food producers have little negotiating power with other stronger corporate players. In many countries small food producers are not even allowed to form cooperatives to increase their market share. There must be a check on corporate concentration in value chain along with favorable public policies to support farmer’s cooperatives and unions. Q3. Are the content and the issues laid out in the document reflecting the needs at your region and country? Can you suggest any improvement? Generally the document seems to be focusing mainly on Africa region while a reasonable focus on the Asia and Latin America is also needed both to understand the global requirements and available solutions. For the actions at country level, we believe countries should adopt a rights based approach in their food security policies. We also want a greater harmonization among all policies and programs on food and nutritional security. In a number of countries, there is a lack of coordination at policy design and implementation stages leading to fragmentation and incoherence results. We believe, it should start with a legal framework on food and nutritional security; which can start from introducing ‘right to food’ in the national constitutions. All other policies and laws on FS should stem from there to ensure a multi-sectoral approach on FS. Although the document covers major issues, problems like forced eviction and replacement resulting into food insecurity are not highlighted in this document. For example, in Cambodia, forced eviction and replacement and the absence of adequate social protection are major causes of food and nutritional insecurity. People, especially women and children who are the most vulnerable groups, are evicted from their resources and are excluded from social services schemes. The Latin American countries like Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala demand the: the adoption of the food sovereignty concept in their FNS policies. They want the national policies to carry an effective agrarian reform for a greater support to sustainable agriculture; policies that would allow families to cultivate their plot of land and produce the food they need for their livelihood. They also want policies that will put an end to the pressure on land and natural resources for energy production. Private investments must be regulated by a framework guiding private sector towards responsible investments which respect human rights, environment and the people’s culture. We do not accept the GSF to open door for GMOs. This cannot be accepted since the international community is still discussing the negative impacts of GMO technology. In the African region, the right based approach is missing in the CAADP framework and the National Agricultural development strategies and related polices. Most African countries also do not take into account the rights based approach while formulating their investment plans and food and nutritional policies. The document must demand a higher investment in creating and supporting to farmer’s organizations. To achieve FS, the document must acknowledge farmers and their institutions ability to provide solutions to the problems in FNS. They are the key stakeholders who can give credible solutions, and help design the FNS policies. Till now, most of the farmer’s organizations have just been used as conduits in the name of purported consultations, and hence their participation has remained merely symbolic. Women farmer’s interests are rarely represented as well. Q4 How can the GSF be linked to the regional and national food security and nutrition frameworks and strategies? How can it promote a 2-way accountability and monitoring mechanism? The current FN insecurity in the world can largely be attributed to the lack of appropriate good governance in FNS at the global, regional and national level. This implies, the GSF must promote, among others, a democratic policy-making and right to food accountability through multi-level policy coordination with an intersectoral approach to achieve FNS. This is particularly important as we live in a globalized food system with many threats to FNS are coming from other policy areas. As a consequence, a multi-stakeholder and intersectoral approach has to be adopted with the inclusion of other departments, such as the health department, education, women’s rights, land management, in the formulation of a national strategy. We want the existing platforms on FNS to be used to encourage and support the implementation of the GSF at national and regional level., For example, in Cambodia, the Food Security and Nutrition Forum led by the Council for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) plays a vital role in coordinating with relevant NGOs, Government agencies and development partners to develop relevant FNS policies, guidelines and strategies. Development of these kinds of forums and councils with a strong representation of CSOs would ensure better implementation of the GSF. There is a need for a stronger monitoring and evaluation system in food and nutrition security. Such system must accommodate human rights based approach without which there would not be positive changes in the national and international policies. The reviewed monitoring and accountability system may hold all stakeholders accountable for their share of commitments and responsibilities. It will also identify specific policy failures and policy incoherence to tackle them effectively.

Posted on 02.05.2012 10:02 am

The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty, Roy Anuciacion, Philippines, Civil society and non-governmental organizations

The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) welcomes the open consultation on the Committee on World Food Security’s Global Strategic Framework PCFS has the following comments regarding the Global Strategic Framework: 1. Food Sovereignty: The Global Strategic Framework is supposed to be a comprehensive plan for food security. However, it falls short of recognising food sovereignty as a key concept for addressing poverty and hunger. Food sovereignty incorporates key principles of the right to healthy and culturally appropriate food that is produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods. It also recognises the peoples’ right to define their own food and agriculture systems free from external interference and imposition. Adopting a food sovereignty framework would enrich policy decisions on a national and international level as it incorporates sustainable agriculture and local ownership into thinking on poverty and hunger. It would ensure that the structural causes of poverty, hunger and malnutrition are addressed rather than treating only the symptoms. In the circumstances that a food sovereignty framework is not adopted, PCFS recommends that key principles of sustainable agriculture, local ownership of food production systems, consultation of grassroots organisations and freedom from external impositions should still be incorporated into the Global Strategic Framework. 2. Root causes of Hunger and Malnutrition: Poverty is cited as a root cause of hunger without describing the causes of persistent poverty. Large agro-industrial corporations responsible for large-scale land acquisitions displacing local rural populations as well as the depletion of natural resources through intensive farming are major contributors to poverty in the rural areas. This is not acknowledged in the list of root causes of hunger and malnutrition and is clearly lacking. 3. Section III The Foundations and Overarching Frameworks: While it is indispensible that the GFS is built on the Rome Principles for Food Security and consequently the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda, PCFS urges the GFS to go further and refer specifically to the need to abandon aid conditionalities altogether. This is the only way to achieve true ownership and partnership as enumerated in both aid agreements. 4. Small-scale farmers: Although the Global Strategic Framework dedicates a section to small-scale farmers in addressing food security, they are not included in the recommended groups for consultation in the Right to Food guidelines. Small-scale farmers are the key intended beneficiaries of the Global Strategic Framework and they are also the agents for achieving improved food security. In order to develop suitable policies which can be realised, they need to be included in the research, development and implementation of the policies and they should be represented at each of these stages. Processes that exclude them will miss key insights into culture and environment specific conditions and practical realisation of policies as well as lose the commitment of the small-scale farmers. 5. Harmful policies: Although the Global Strategic Framework makes strong policy recommendations, it neglects to deal with harmful policies currently in place. These includes food subsidies in Northern countries and related ‘dumping’ of excess produce in Northern States on Southern countries; and the creation of legal, economic and political conditions ideal for foreign land acquisitions which have displaced local populations and increased poverty and malnutrition in the areas concerned; as well as the promotion of unsustainable industrial farming which has negatively impacted surrounding ecosystems and communities. These are just some examples of policies, which continue today but are not sufficiently tackled on the international level. There is a disproportionate focus on improving farming techniques of small-scale farmers without addressing negative policies, which impede their development. The Global Strategic Framework provides on opportunity for these policies to be confronted and revised in favour of sustainable agricultural policies. 6. Accountability Mechanisms: It is not sufficient for there to be an agreement on how to proceed without also implementing measures to ensure that the agreed objectives are met. The GSF is vague on what kinds of accountability mechanisms are effective. In addition, recommendations of country level action in paragraph 78 do not include the need to introduce accountability mechanisms. There needs to be greater emphasis on the importance of accountability mechanisms and concrete suggestions of effective measures to prevent the adoption of principles without any realistic aims to achieve them. 7. Medium/ long term actions to address root causes of hunger: On paragraph 33 on the insecure tenure of land and natural resources, the GFS should explicitly address large scale acquisitions of land in developing countries. In cases of foreign large-scale land acquisitions, rural poor were displaced from the land with little or no compensation and neighbouring populations have lost vital access to water resources and other natural resources customarily held as common property. Their displacement has not served to increase food production but in fact has decreased it. In depth research on foreign land acquisitions has shown that of total foreign land acquisitions since 2008, 78% was for agriculture and three quarters of that 78% for biofuels. This poses a great threat to food security in the countries in question. 8. Gaps in consensus on policy issues, International level: Food sovereignty is referred to in par. 74 as merely a concept on which requires consensus on the international plane. Food sovereignty is already a widely known and accepted term especially in countries with a large proportion of small-scale food producers. Mali, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela have all incorporated food sovereignty into their legislative frameworks and the GFS should incorporate these country lessons as a country level strategy for achieving food security. There is strong support behind food sovereignty as a key concept as opposed to food security especially from the targeted beneficiaries of the GFS and their representative organisations.

Posted on 02.05.2012 9:49 am

Save the Children UK, Maria Pizzini, United Kingdom, Civil society and non-governmental organizations

1. Does the First Draft present key issues of food security and nutrition on which there is broad regional and international consensus? Save the Children welcomes the increased profile and importance given to nutrition in the first draft of the Global Strategic Framework. Save the Children has participated in the GSF consultation process from its inception and has seen the document make great strides in recognising children as one of the ‘most affected’ groups by food and nutrition insecurity. The GSF has also now been strengthened to not only ensure nutrition is highlighted as appropriate and relevant in the various chapters but also includes a section on the topic which signals that the CFS sees nutrition as an issue of equal importance and relevance in its ongoing discussions around food security and agricultural development. We are very encouraged by these positive evolutions in the GSF. As the current draft states, the GSF states ‘is a tool for charting a new course for the international community by prioritizing key principles, policies and actions and by mobilizing the collective action of all stakeholders to overcome the scourge of hunger and poverty...’ Bearing this in mind, it is disappointing to see that there is no reference to the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement in the GSF. SUN embodies the unprecedented momentum and commitment to tackling all forms of malnutrition through an agreed set of principles. Most notable among these are the establishment of accountable multi-stakeholder national platform which includes vibrant civil society participation; coordinated support for country-led plans to increase investment in proven interventions to tackle the immediate causes of malnutrition as well as to improve the evidence base to inform intensified responses to the underlying causes of malnutrition. Over one hundred international agencies, UN bodies, academics, foundations and NGOs have endorsed SUN. Most importantly, 27 countries have now officially committed themselves to scaling up nutrition through the SUN framework. SUN partners who include the broad-based constituency mentioned above have promised to fully support and align their efforts behind these countries in their efforts. Nearly all of the principles guiding the SUN movement are reflected in the current draft of the GSF as components of other existing internationally recognized frameworks and principles. This is unsurprising as those supporting SUN have been clear in their conviction that partners working together to tackle malnutrition must build upon effective existing structures and approaches wherever possible. SUN endeavors to bring together a wide range of actors working towards various parts of the food insecurity puzzle to solve what has been until now the intractable problem of malnutrition. As such, we believe that when referring to ‘other frameworks’ in paragraph 11, it would be helpful to also mention the Scaling Up Nutrition Framework for Action. In addition, the growing SUN movement can be referred to alongside the Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition model described in paragraph 77. 2. Does the list of areas where there are gaps in policy convergence that may be addressed in future versions of the GSF need to be amended? The definition of ‘food security’ has evolved considerably over time and additional terminology and concepts including, ‘nutrition security’, ‘food security and nutrition’ and ‘food and nutrition security’ have emerged over the past few decades. Each of these terms has varying connotations. While this signals better understanding of the complex inter-linkages between food security and adequate nutrition, the lack of consistency in the use of terms often creates confusion, and holds back meaningful discussions on how best to address concerns of food insecurity and malnutrition. As the CFS continues to build its reputation as the foremost inclusive intergovernmental and international platform on food security and nutrition related issues, and considering the continuous development of the Global Strategic Framework throughout 2012, having a common and full understanding and appreciation of these terms and their implications for the potential mandate and work of the CFS, will be of particular importance. Recognizing this, the 37th Session of CFS called on ‘the Bureau, in consultation with the Advisory Group and joint Secretariat, as well as with relevant international organizations, in particular World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to propose options on the meaning and different uses, if any, of the terms “Food Security”, “Food Security and Nutrition”, “Food and Nutrition Security” and “Nutrition Security” to the CFS Session for the standardization of the official terminology that the Committee should use ...' (CFS37, 2011). This piece of work is currently underway, led by the UN SCN and a core group of representatives from UN agencies as well members of the CFS Secretariat and Advisory Group. An agreement on standardized terminology is to be made at the 38th Plenary Session of the CFS in October 2012. Previous versions of the GSF draft had made reference to this issue, first in the body of the document and then in a footnote. We note that this reference has now been completely removed. Given how important this newly agreed terminology will be for CFS dialogue, we feel that it is important for the terminology standardization work to be profiled in the current draft of the GSF, not least to ensure that the agreed terminology is fully utilized in the next iteration of this ‘living document’ but also in any future CFS policy discussion and documents. This can perhaps be highlighted in the Chapter 1 Section C on Definitions as it originally appeared or in Chapter 4 Section I on Major Existing Gaps in Consensus on Policy Issues. 3. Does the document have sufficient practical regional and country-level relevance? Can you suggest improvements? Save the Children believes that this draft makes a solid attempt to ensure that the GSF will have practical regional and country-level relevance not only by separating recommendations by county and global levels but also through the various sections in the final Chapter ‘Uniting and Organizing to Fight Hunger’ which outlines critical roles and responsibilities at national, regional and global levels as well as best methods for supporting these functions. In particular, we are very happy to accommodate the request for case studies in this consultation, as we believe that sharing lessons from the ground is one of the best ways to demonstrate the application of best practice. 4. How can the GSF be linked to regional and national food security and nutrition frameworks and strategies, and accountability and monitoring mechanisms, in ways that promote two-way coordination and convergence? Save the Children believes that Chapter 5 Section E on Follow up and Monitoring has begun to set out the critical guidance required to ensure that decisions and agreements reached by the CFS translate into meaningful action at the national level. We also welcome the recent formation of the Open Ended Working Group on Monitoring, chaired by Zimbabwe, as an encouraging sign that members of the CFS are committed to carrying the CFS into its second phase of reform. In its initial discussions, the OEWG on Monitoring has recognized the importance of acknowledging and building upon existing structures and initiatives as well as recognizing that ultimate responsibility for accountability must rest with national governments. It would be helpful to reference this recent development to ensure that the outcomes and proposed next steps of the OEWG on Monitoring receive the support it requires from the CFS going forward. Case study submission Save the Children would like to submit the attached case studies of our learning in Ethiopia and north-east Kenya in relation to the policy recommendations in Chapter IV on mitigating the negative impacts of food price volatility and in particular in relation to the recommended action to: ‘Increase the role of the state in mitigating the negative impacts of volatility through the development of stable long term national social protection strategies and safety nets, particularly addressing vulnerable categories of populations such as women and children that can be scaled up in times of crisis.’

Posted on 02.05.2012 9:44 am

USC, Faris Ahmed, Canada, Civil society and non-governmental organizations

USC Canada appreciates the opportunity to share our comments and perspectives on the first draft of the Global Strategic Framework using the online consultation process. USC welcomes and supports the Global Strategic Framework as a key instrument in both guiding the work of the CFS, as well as focusing it on achieving tangible improvements in the lives of those who are food insecure. USC Canada’s comments on the GSF are based on the lessons and experiences of almost 30 years working internationally with partners through the acclaimed Seeds of Survival program. This work, and our comments on the GSF, are focused on ecological agriculture, biodiversity and food security. 1. Key issues in Draft 1 where there is broad international consensus. While the first Draft of the GSF mentions the importance of smallholder agriculture, it does so mostly in the context of increasing food production. There is broad international consensus that the role and contribution of small holder farmers, and especially ecologically diverse food systems, is far more multi-dimensional. 1.a. Multiple benefits of ecological agriculture. Farms that embrace ecologically sound and biodiversity based food production practices, have demonstrated high levels of productivity. Yet there are many other equally important benefits: these farms are characterized by innovation, stronger food, nutrition and livelihood security, and resilience to external shocks related to both market volatility and climate extremes. 1.b. The role of farmer knowledge, innovation and research. The GSF document largely frames the key actors in food production – the small holder farmers who produce the majority of the world’s food – as passive actors in the equation, and as recipients of new food production techniques. In fact, there is broad international consensus that smallholder farms are knowledge intensive, and often at the cutting edge of agricultural innovation. Agricultural knowledge and innovation on-farm is an under-researched and under-valued phenomenon and should be placed high on the food security research agenda. 2. Areas where there are gaps and should be addressed in future versions of the GSF. 2.a. On-farm conservation of genetic resources. The current GSF draft talks about food reserves at the international, national and community level, as a mitigation strategy against food insecurity and hunger. Since its inception in the late 1980’s, USC’s Seeds of Survival program has employed community seed banking as a key strategy to preserve biodiversity, and combat food and seed insecurity. Communities in the regions where the program operates are far more resilient, and have the means to cope with external shocks. More, and specific attention to on-farm conservation (in-situ) of seeds and genetic resources, at community level, is therefore critical in this regard. This should entail support for farmer-led research, and strengthening small holder farmer organizations’ capacity for research and development based on their own knowledge and experience. Finally, please see the appended case study “Growing Resilience” as an example of community seed and knowledge banks as the central strategy to build resilient food systems, in Honduras. ___________________ About USC Canada: Our Mission is to promote vibrant family farms, strong rural communities, and healthy ecosystems around the world. With engaged Canadians and partners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, we support programs, training, and policies that strengthen biodiversity, food sovereignty, and the rights of those at the heart of resilient food systems – women, indigenous peoples, and small-scale farmers. USC Canada was founded by Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada.

Posted on 27.04.2012 5:40 pm

International Fund for Agricultural Development, Bettina Prato, Italy, UN agencies and other UN bodies

Dear Food Security and Nutrition Forum moderator and colleagues, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the first draft of the CFS Global Strategic Framework. We applaud the great efforts that have gone into the preparation of this very rich document. Please find here some general comments from IFAD staff, followed by some text-specific comments, and accompanied by recommendations for case study material to illustrate good practices in section IV of the document (in attachment). With kind regards and best wishes, Bettina Prato, Research Coordinator, Office of the Chief Development Strategist of IFAD (on behalf also of IFAD colleagues) General: • The document indeed presents key issues concerning food security and nutrition on which there is broad consensus, including consensus achieved in the CFS context. On the other hand, the document also relies on a selected set of specialized sources (e.g. the IAASTD report) or regional frameworks (notably CAADP). It may be useful to specify the criteria that have guided the selection of these documents, and to make explicit reference to them, when they are used in the course of the text, particularly to differentiate between material drawn from these sources and material from CFS sources. • The discussion on root causes of hunger and challenges ahead also reflects areas of broad consensus. However, this section could be improved by differentiating between “structural” causes of hunger and malnutrition, which require addressing the “structure” of food systems, from causes that are not ”structural” (e.g. disasters, lack of coherence in policymaking, or HIV/AIDS), as these would require different types of policy responses. Reorganizing the bullet list in paragraph 19 (and removing some repetitions) between causes of hunger that have to do with the structure of food systems and those that are not “structural” would also help pave the way for the discussion of a specific set of policy areas in section IV of the document, strengthening the relevance and user-friendliness of the document for a policy-making audience. • Similarly, the discussion on emerging challenges would benefit from reorganization, to differentiate between challenges that are emerging or have recently emerged and others, which may be issues affecting long term trends in agriculture and food security, but which are not “emerging challenges”. One way to more compellingly package the analysis on causes of hunger and challenges may be around the various elements of food security (availability, access, utilization, and stability, including nutrition). • Perhaps worthy of some added focus among emerging challenges is the impact of climate change on agriculture, including land degradation, growing uncertainty about crop yields as well as the intensification of floods and droughts, and the very pressing challenge of how countries and other stakeholders can help farmers better adapt to climate change and to its diverse impacts. Also worth adding is the challenge of promoting crop biodiversity – today twenty-two per cent of all plant species face extinction, with 75 per cent of crop diversity lost from 1900 to 2000. Just some 15 crop plants provide 90 per cent of the world’s food energy intake, rendering the global food system vulnerable to shocks. • The discussion on past experiences and lessons learned should arguably be based on the previous analysis of structural and non-structural causes of food insecurity and of emerging challenges, which would probably lead to a broader set of experiences (country-led experiences in particular) and lessons learned. Also important may be to be clear about WHOSE experience is considered here as a basis for lessons learned, with specific and differentiated reference to country experience (not only with programmes but also with policy) and to the experience of other stakeholders, such as development partners and international organizations. This would also help strengthen the practical country-level relevance of the document. • Lessons learned may include the importance of local knowledge in promoting food security, particularly as the latter is influenced by the capacity to manage natural assets and biodiversity and by the capacity to adapt to the localized impact of climate change. • Under the discussion on the twin-track approach, actions to address root causes of hunger in the medium and long-term would, arguably, address all “structural” causes of food insecurity. Hence, discussion on land issues would need to be complemented with other issues related to these root causes, including issues discussed under the CFS concerning smallholder-inclusive investment. This is also in line with the approach of the UCFA concerning the second of the two “twin tracks”. Similarly, social protection instruments are not the only link between immediate and medium-term interventions under a twin-track approach, and this should be recognized, especially if reference is made to the UCFA. • Under IV.C, corrective measures to address food price volatility fail to include measures to address its structural causes, particularly as concerns supply-demand imbalances, which require investment in more productive, sustainable, resilience, and inclusive agricultural and food systems. The need to address these as the underlying, structural causes of volatility is the object of international consensus and it has also been discussed in the CFS context. • Also under IV C, the recommendation concerning a pilot project for a regional emergency humanitarian food reserve in the ECOWAS region is probably too specific and time-bound to be included in the GSF. • Under IV E, it is suggested that the statement that “Increased investment in agriculture should be promoted in countries suffering from protracted crises…” may require nuancing, given the high context specificity of factors contributing to protracted crises. Moreover, the upcoming High Level Expert Forum on protracted crises will explicitly tackle, among other, the issue of whether patterns of investment in agriculture may contribute to triggering or worsening food insecurity in protracted crises. Hence the question of what kind of investment or what kind of agriculture may require greatest attention or support in protracted crisis situations, depending on context-specific causes of crisis and related needs, should also be posed. • Section IV E is at present rather weak in terms of practical regional and country-level relevance (both paragraphs 52 and 53, as well as paragraph 56). Given the ongoing process of preparation for the HLEF, one possible suggestion to address this weakness may be to explicitly state that more precise pointers for policymakers and other stakeholders in this section will be developed in the context of, and in the wake of, the Forum itself. • Section IV F takes up some of the issues addressed in section IV B. Arguably, the issues covered in paragraphs 58 and 59 would fit quite well under section IV B, as a complement to the discussion on promoting investment, enriching that discussion with greater specificity about what kind of transformation of smallholder agriculture is to be supported through greater investment. The issue of sustainable productivity growth, on the other hand, deserves discussion in its own right, but is not of relevance only to smallholder agriculture but rather to all kinds of agricultural systems. • Section IV H may be revised with more specific reference to the Voluntary Guidelines on land tenure, particularly as concerns para 70, and with added attention to what actors other than “countries” are recommended to do under the VGs. • Section IV I lists areas where there are gaps in policy convergence that may be addressed in future versions of the GSF. However, it combines that with an analysis of the “fragility of governance mechanisms” at various levels, which makes it difficult to clearly grasp what are the key areas in which the CFS needs to advance its work in view of future versions of the GSF. Paragraph 74 itself combines areas where policy convergence is in itself a challenge internationally with issues of a slightly different nature (e.g. need for a value chain approach, designing exit strategies for small farmers, filling the evidence gap on nutrition-sensitive approaches, boosting rural employment, etc.). It is recommended that this list be revised to identify specifically the key areas where policy convergence is needed, and towards which the CFS could usefully orient its agenda in the coming years. • Section V is a particularly important part of the Framework in our view. As such, it may benefit from further strengthening in various points. Section V A, for instance, presents a list of country-level actions whose precise relationship to the actions covered in section IV is not altogether clear. Is this list of actions supposed to be about HOW governments should undertake initiatives in the various areas covered in section IV, while the latter section is to cover the content (the WHAT) of those initiatives? If so, it is not clear while there are specific references to human capital development and safety nets (and not, for instance, to support to smallholder agriculture, or to the development of risk assessment and risk mitigating capacity, resilience, adaptation to climate change, etc.). • Sections V B and C may benefit from the addition of an explicit discussion of what role the CFS foresees for itself at the regional and global level to support regional and national actions. • Section V D, paragraph 90, would benefit from the addition of explicit recognition of the primary importance of domestic private investment in agriculture, in particular investment by farmers, and the need to find ways to mobilize and unlock the additional potential of domestic investment through better access to financial services and markets, besides supporting ODA and FDI that are and will remain a small proportion of overall investment in agriculture. Recognition of the potential of climate and environmental finance to be used to support sustainable and resilient agriculture systems may also be added. • Section V E may also benefit from an explicit discussion of how to monitor the implementation of the GSF itself, and the role of the CFS in that context, as well as from more explicit linkages to the actions covered in section IV of the document. Text-specific # 39 bullet point 4: suggest mentioning the possibility of promoting Rewards for Environmental Services schemes # 41/42: the environment/climate dimension and the notion of small-scale farmers living in environmentally fragile areas is missing in these two paragraphs. However, supply-side variability due to the impact of natural factors on harvests influences volatility. It is suggested to include among risk-management instruments those related to climate risks (i.e. Weather index-based insurances) # 53: remove the reference to conservation agriculture in bullet point 4 as not clear (or better explain it) # 58: non-farm activities represents also an adaptation strategy to decrease reliance on climate-vulnerable economic sectors # 74 bullet point 3: policy support is needed to support those value chains that represent an important driver for scaling up environmentally sound practices and promoting inclusive green growth (i.e. certification processes, organic and sustainable niche environmental products, etc.) # 78: again the environment/climate dimension is missing here. A recommendation on supporting the mainstreaming on environment and climate related issues along the policy objectives and in line with national frameworks such as NAP, NAPA, etc., could be added.

Posted on 25.04.2012 5:24 pm

Oxfam, Luca Chinotti, Italy, Civil society and non-governmental organizations

Oxfam has supported the development of a CFS Global Strategic Framework (GSF) since the reform of the CFS. In fact, the GSF is a critical tool for the CFS to deliver on its crucial mandate; as the center of the global governance on food security, agriculture and nutrition, to improve policy coherence, to enhance stakeholders’ coordination, to promote better and more inclusive governance and accountability, to promote political commitment and to ensure that policies and programmes prioritize food and nutrition security and the right to food. A strong, comprehensive and ambitious GSF is needed to tackle the critical issues that are the root causes of the current food crisis and to start to fix the broken global food system. In our response we have focused on the first two questions proposed to guide the consultation. However, our comments also have relevance for other questions as well. I. Does the First Draft present key issues of food security and nutrition on which there is broad regional and international consensus? The current draft underlines a number of critical recommendations that need to be fully implemented to achieve food and nutrition security. We welcome that the current GSF draft underlines the importance of a right based approach, based on the Guidelines on the right to food. However, a number of key elements, where international evidence-based consensus exists, are missing or are too vague. The next GSF draft should: 1. State more clearly that it should guide decisions, policies and action undertaken by all decision makers both in developing and developed countries governments – including those that deal with issues that have indirect impact on hunger and malnutrition (such as trade, economic and investment policies) - as well as international and regional intergovernmental organizations and the private sector. Furthermore, it should be flagged that decisions on funding allocation as well should be guided by the GSF. It is necessary to make those elements clear in the first paragraphs of chapter I. This is crucial to tackle the lack of policy coherence and coordination by all actors. There is consensus that they are key causes of the current food security situation. 2. Clearly underline the need for strong high level political commitment and prioritization of the fight against hunger and malnutrition. There is a strong evidence based consensus that the lack of adequate political commitment and prioritization of the fight against hunger and malnutrition in policies and actions is one of the root causes of the current situation. The lack of adequate political commitment as well as the failure to fully implement past commitments, including pledges (such as those taken at the 2009 G8 in L’Aquila), should be included among the structural causes of hunger (part II.A). 3. Promote improved coordination by going further into details and provide clear action-oriented guidance, based on lesson learned, on how concretely the Rome and aid effectiveness principles should be implemented in order to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. Notably, the GSF, in the part V.D, should: a) List the mandates and value added of the different intergovernmental organizations that play a role in food security, agriculture and nutrition as well as assess where the gaps, overlaps and incoherence are and provide clear recommendations on how their collective impact from local to global level can be strengthened. b) Not only mention but assess effectiveness of Intergovernmental organizations coordination mechanisms and recommend how to improve them. In the case, where there is no consensus on the analysis on this and the issue underlined in the bullet point above, those elements should be added un the gaps section. c) Recommend and provide principles, based on best practices, to set up or strengthen inter-ministerial and multi-stakeholder mechanisms at country and regional levels, responsible for national food security and nutrition policies and plans. Those mechanisms are much needed in order to improve coordination and policy coherence at country and regional level and should be strongly underlined in the GSF (beginning of part V). The need for multistakeholder platform and frameworks was underlined several times at the CFS. Furthermore, we suggest that a box with a case study underlying the Brazilian experience of the CONSEA is added in the GSF. d) Clearly underline the crucial role and responsibility donors have to support and align with national and regional country-led plans in order to ensure coordination and ownership. e) Include the following key recommendation that was agreed at the CFS 36: the UN system should promote better coordinated multi-stakeholder participation in the development and implementation of country led, comprehensive plans of action in a small number of countries affected by protracted crises. 4. Include stronger provisions and recommendations on monitoring, accountability and implementation. There is a strong consensus that the current situation is a consequence of inadequate accountability at all levels as well as inadequate implementation of past commitments. In particular, the next draft of the GSF should: a) Clearly underline, consistently with its reform document, the role of the CFS to promote accountability at all levels and share best practices (part I.A) b) Recognize that the lack of accountability at all level is one of the root causes of the current food crisis (part II.A). c) Include a clear assessment on existing monitoring and accountability mechanisms at different levels, their linkages, overlaps gaps and inconsistency and clearly identify how they can be filled and the role of the CFS to strengthen accountability (part V.E). If consensus is not achievable for the first version of the GSF, this issue should be added in the gap section. d) Provide clear guidance for the development of an innovative accountability mechanism, consistently with the CFS reform document. This mechanism should be based on open, transparent and multistakeholder processes that will review policies and actions of governments, intergovernmental organizations and the private sector as well as their outcomes compared with internationally agreed human rights obligations, CFS policy recommendations and other international commitments to eradicate hunger and malnutrition. The mechanism should be designed to achieve improved accountability, assess progress as well as relevance and impact on existing recommendations and commitments, and promote mutual learning. The outcomes of the mechanism should be clear and communicable to a wide range of stakeholders and the general public. e) Underline the need to develop an interagency mechanism where international organizations will come together to support the implementation of CFS decisions (part V.E) 5. Reflect the evidence-based consensus that, in order to feed the world without wrecking the planet, a shift of investments toward small scale sustainable resilient agriculture that put women at its center is decisive. The next draft of the GSF should notably: a) Underline as a root cause of hunger (part II.A) as well as a growing emerging challenge (II.B) the accelerated depletion and the lack of adequate management of natural resources which has an impact beyond natural disasters notably by putting at risk sustainable livelihoods of small scale food producers that often depend on marginal lands. b) Clearly state that all governments and international and regional organizations should support and promote the scaling up of agro-ecological practices that proved to be extremely successful to increase productivity of small scale food producers while increasing agriculture sustainability and management of natural resources and enabling small scale food producers to adapt to climate change and increase their resilience (part IV.F). This can be done notably by scaling up extension services focusing on agro-ecology and support farmer led research on sustainable practices. The importance of agro-ecology was recognized in the IAASTD report and by many others. c) Recognize that the IAASTD provided specific scientific evidence-based recommendations that need to be fully implemented as soon as possible by all governments and intergovernmental organizations. The full implementation of IAASTD recommendations is particularly crucial today when natural resources are increasingly depleted, climate change impacts are growing and hunger is skyrocketing. Strong consensus exists on those critical recommendations and in supporting the IAASTD process and findings. 6. Recognize the role that incoherent trade, investment and other economic played in creating the current food crisis situation by adding it under parts II.A and paragraph 73. 7. Recognize that in order to connect both longer term and life-saving interventions there is a need that. a) Development and humanitarian actors work together, under national governments leadership, also thanks to more flexible funding, to build long term development and sustainable livelihoods, safe live and livelihoods, increase resilience of local communities and break the crisis-response cycle in areas in protracted crisis; and b) Adequate investment is provided to support Disaster Risk Reduction strategies and proactive measures that prevent crisis and/or facilitate early recovery. (part III.C) 8. Recognize that it is crucial for States to invest in rural social services and infrastructure to lessen the care economy burden on women and to free up women’s time. This would directly contribute to close the gender gap in agriculture (part IV.D). Furthermore, it should be added that the CFS, at its 37th session, recalled the CEDAW and the Beijing Platform for Action, adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, and in particular its recommendations for advancing women’s food security under the strategic objectives on macroeconomic and development policies, vocational training and continuing education, health, access to resources, employment, markets and trade and sustainable development and urges the Bureau to encourage and engage as appropriate with UN Women in the development of specific indicators, targets and time tables to measure progress made towards advancing women’s food security. 9. Underline specific donors’ commitments on food and agriculture taken in recent years (part V.D). Notably, the commitment taken at the G8 Summit in L’Aquila in 2009 should be underlined. Furthermore, there is not only a “general agreement” on the need to reverse the decline of aid and public investment in agriculture (paragraph 90) but clear commitments were taken in 2009 at the G8 and FAO Summits as well as in other summits. In addition to those key elements, the GSF can be improved with a number of additional and more specific changes that will improve its impact. The next draft of the GSF should: 1. Clearly state the common goals to halve hunger by 2015 and then move toward the eradication of hunger and malnutrition in its first paragraphs. 2. Expand the provisions on food aid/food assistance (part V.C. and IV.E) by including notably the following elements: a) The growing consensus on the crucial role of cash based interventions; b) Risks linked with the use of in kind food aid, particularly when purchased in donors countries; and c) The need to further develop programmes to purchase food aid at country and regional level while supporting small scale food producers. A box with the case study of the WFP initiative P4P may be added. 3. Clarify that, once the first version of the GSF is approved, the CFA should be updated to ensure is consistent with the GSF (part I.B). In fact, it is the CFA that should be consistent with the GSF and not the opposite. 4. Include an updated version of the part on land, fisheries and forests tenure (IV.H) to include the provisions of the Guidelines on Land. II. Does the list of areas where there are gaps in policy convergence that may be addressed in future versions of the GSF need to be amended? The GSF should underline not only gaps in terms of policy convergence but also the areas where additional work is needed to ensure better coordinated action to tackle hunger and malnutrition as well as to ensure stronger accountability. The existing list, cover a number of critical areas (such as biofuels, trade, monitoring & accountability, nutrition-sensitive approaches, etc.) where gaps have strong impact on the fight against hunger. However, those gaps should be presented in a way that do not pre-empt an evidence-based and open discussion at the CFS. This can be done by underlying the different issues in a more evidence based manner. For example, the point on biofuels may read as follow: “Address the incoherence between: 1) Evidence-based analysis provided by all the relevant international organizations, the HLPE reports and civil society that promoting biofuels has negative impacts on food price volatility and access to land and do not provide advantages to mitigate climate change; and 2) The decision by a number of countries to maintain subsidies, mandates and tariffs to promote biofuels” (this formulation can be used on paragraph 20 as well). Moreover, there are additional issue where there is no consensus or where urgent action is needed and that should be addressed: 1. How to stop land grabbing as defined by ILC ( 2. The role of the private sector in tackling hunger and what are the needed regulations to ensure their operations will have a positive impact in term of food and nutrition security and that negative impacts will be avoided. 3. The role of different types of food reserves to tackle food price volatility, stabilize markets, tackle food insecurity and increase resilience to shocks and what are the best practices for their management. 4. How to scale up sustainable agriculture practices and measure progress toward a small scale, sustainable, resilient agriculture that put women at its center. Finally, we would like to propose to add as a case study in the part IV.F that shows the successful example of the HARITA (Horn of Africa Risk Transfer for Adaptation) program. This initiative involved different actors, notably with the full involvement of small scale food producers at all stages of the programme development, and shows how weather-indexed micro-insurance for the poorest small-scale farmers can be fully integrated with holistic climate resilience approaches. The program was initiated in 2007 by Oxfam America and a host of partners, including the Government of Ethiopia, the Relief Society of Tigray and Swiss Re. It has shown the potential for an integrated risk management approach. The Ethiopian government has incorporated the program into its Productive Safety Net Program and has enabled farmers to pay for insurance premiums by undertaking climate resilience projects.

Posted on 24.04.2012 5:14 pm

World Food Programme, Lynn Brown, Italy, UN agencies and other UN bodies

GENERAL COMMENTS: The Framework synthesises many parts of the food security and nutrition picture, however it could be improved by being a) more focused in specifying what it wants to achieve b) backing up statements throughout the document with evidence and figures c) being more specific in its priorities (finding a balance between being comprehensive but not overly broad), d) explain more explicitly why these priorities are in fact priorities. It is repetitive in parts e.g. post-harvest losses is mentioned as an issue a number of times. Some of the key issues such as trade policies, low agriculture budgets in Low Income Countries (LICs) should come earlier in the document. There are a number of key advocacy statements but they need to be supported with evidence and clearer reasoning as to why they are important. If it is to be a single-point reference document, there could be an annex with reference to global food security and nutrition initiatives including Scaling Up Nutrition, the REACH project and an explicit outline of MDG1c including progress or lack thereof to date. Section II, part A which separates the structural causes of hunger and malnutrition and B, the emerging challenges is ambiguous and would benefit from a clearer distinction between the two. Within the structural causes section, we would suggest reviewing the order of priority including a higher up priority for war, conflicts and lack of security and natural disasters as structural causes. In the first point ‘lack of social protection systems’ could be separated out as a single structural cause. The following points could be added: lack of national economic diversification leading to greater vulnerability due to narrow economic bases in developing countries; low levels of education and literacy proven to have a direct impact on undernutrition; detrimental feeding and behavioural practices. Within the emerging challenges section, it is not clear that all of the challenges listed are new or emerging. Some challenges have been around for a long time such as inter-generational transmission of undernutrition, population growth, urbanization, technology development and post-harvest losses. Greater priority could be given to the ‘emerging’ impacts of climate change and the issue of feed as fuel. As the framework focuses on undernutrition rather than under and over-nutrition, it would be more accurate to replace ‘malnutrition’ with ‘undernutrition’. SPECIFIC COMMENTS: Paragraph 21. This statement should be backed up by statistics and references e.g. the number of undernourished people in the world and recent trends. Is this paragraph focused on development or on implementing food and nutrition strategies? If the latter, then the focus of lessons learned should remain on strategies and not on ‘development programmes or efforts’. On lessons learned it would be good to include lack of political will as a major constraint/lesson learned when devising strategies if not one of the most important factors. Paragraph 24: It states that the Right to Food ‘means that’ food security policies will aim at increasing not only food availability, but also food adequacy and accessibility’. This statement is misleading as it implies that without RTF you may not address adequacy and accessibility when in fact these are core pillars of the World Food Summit definition on food security. Paragraph 35: Connecting the tracks: This section makes useful reference to how social protection instruments can help to bridge the gap between short and long-term interventions. We would recommend a more explicit reference to ‘systems’ versus a piece-meal approach. Paragraph 39 This would benefit from a greater focus on access as well as production/availability aspects of food security. Paragraph 42 This could be clarified by specifying examples of risk management instruments. Paragraph 53: Urban gardening could be put as an example under the 4th bullet point after conservation agriculture instead of as a stand-alone bullet point and ‘increasing availability of and access to food’ could be reordered as the first bullet point. Paragraph 57: This paragraph could include reference to the issues of growing urban poverty and growing poverty in Middle Income Countries (MICs) in the context of challenges for governments e.g. 71% of the world’s poor now live in MICs, up from only 6% two decades ago. Paragraphs 58-59. Reference to ‘enabling environments’ would benefit from a best practice/case study to illustrate more clearly what is being referred to. Paragraph 65: It is not clear why school feeding and food aid are singled out for improving nutrition in this paragraph as there are many vehicles for enhancing nutrition. School-feeding is not regarded as a primary vehicle for achieving nutritional outcomes. School-feeding should be mentioned within the social protection agenda. This bullet point should be reframed to say ‘when in-kind food transfers are used, efforts should be made to make them as nutritionally-relevant as possible for the target group’. Reference could be also made to blanket and targeted feeding programmes which are more focused on nutritional outcomes than school-feeding. Paragraph 70: The wording ‘countries are recommended to’ is cumbersome. We recommend that it is revised: ‘it is recommended that countries.. ’ or ‘countries should’ or ‘the CFS recommends that’. Paragraph 74: This reads a bit like a shopping list without concrete prioritisation. The issue of costing and generating figures on return of investment for social protection measures could be included as an area for greater policy agreement. Paragraph 78: The first recommendation should be for governments to ‘develop food security policies that are linked to national poverty reduction strategies and that are implementable, adequately-resourced, monitored and reported on and include a map of food security and nutrition actions’. A case study for Brazil could be useful to illustrate this point. The first point on ‘free, democratic and just society’ is very broad and perhaps beyond the remit of this framework or if not then it should be better-contextualised. Under core actions at country level: ‘support the establishment of adequate protective and productive safety net interventions’ could be re-worded as ‘support the establishment of equitable, sustainable and adequately-resourced social protection systems at national level’. Paragraph 81: There may not always be a clear consensus on the importance of regional bodies. Paragraph 86: This is a sweeping and unclear statement. We recommend either removing it or clarifying a) exactly what is meant i.e. what type of debt and b) why it would have a direct impact on the development of food security and nutrition strategies. The bullet point on ‘food assistance’ should be changed to ‘food aid’. Paragraph 90: Can this paragraph be backed up with statistics particularly focusing on recent years bearing in mind that trends in investment in agriculture and nutrition are changing? The point on FDI is unclear. ODA may not always be focused on public investment and it is unclear how private sector investment could be controlled with regard to food and nutrition security or even whether this is a desired outcome. Paragraph 91: It should say ‘Delivering as One’ not ‘Delivery and One’ concept (or ‘one UN’). Paragraphs 92 and 93: This is going somewhat beyond the mandate of the CFS and would need to have a more specific point or linkage with the overall framework. There needs to be more detail on accountability and monitoring mechanisms e.g. who is doing it and what are the ‘enforcement mechanisms’. It could include suggestions such as peer monitoring like the human rights council, regional review systems etc. The role of the CFS could be further outlined (Para 94-98). Paragraph 95: This section could include ideas on ‘how’ to establish greater political will among states to make progress on food security and nutrition i.e what role can the CFS play in nurturing this process? Paragraphs 98 and 101: These paragraphs should be moved to a more logical place in the document. Paragraph 99 and 100: This style is out of synch with the rest of the document and sounds ‘textbookish’. Paragraph 103: We would recommend developing further the point on national information systems and including it in the section on ‘Core actions at country level’. Paragraph 104: Perhaps a word of caution should be added here that there is no ‘gold standard’ food security indicator but only proxy indicators and that the use of a suite of core food security indicators is subject to ongoing consultations.

Posted on 20.04.2012 1:53 pm

Norwegian Ministry for Food and Agriculture and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Per Mogstad, Norway, Member States

QUESTION: Does the First Draft present key issues of food security and nutrition on which there is broad regional and international consensus? - This draft does indeed present a number of central issues to be considered for the reformed CFS. However, the perspective is somewhat narrow as the main focus are small-scale farmers only. We agree that efforts to ensure food security and combat poverty must have small-scale farmers at the centre. But when discussing food security in the light of scarce natural resources and a growing world population, all forms of agriculture and fisheries must be considered. The GSF must be shorter and more to the point in this part to capture only the most pertinent and general trends and issues. We believe that the analysis under this heading must reflect the increasing strain on and need for natural resources of all kinds. A major challenge in the years to come will be to match the natural resource base to the demands of development in all parts of the world and to balance central elements such as food security and energy security. QUESTION: Does the list of areas where there are gaps in policy convergence that may be addressed in future versions of the GSF need to be amended? - This list is not exhaustive in this draft, but should perhaps not be so either? The main problem with this list as it stands is the fact that there are overlapping items and items are not at the same level of generality. Thus, we would suggest that the resource dilemma be placed as the central dilemma for achieving food security. This dilemma now appears as the third last bullet point in para 74 and is listed as being equal to e.g. “Filling the evidence gap on nutrition-sensitive approaches to food security and agriculture”. The Rio+20 Conference will hopefully address this dilemma as the main challenge for green growth and food security. The CFS should be signal explicitly that this is a central and emerging dilemma for food security. By doing so, the CFS may forge a link with the environmental part of the UN system to ensure better coordination within the UN. Thus, this dilemma should be highlighted more than what is the case in Draft One. QUESTION: Does the document have sufficient practical regional and country-level relevance? Can you suggest improvements? - We refer to our general comments regarding a more central place for the Five Rome Principles, the first and second of which explicitly calls for improved coordination and cooperation between the various political levels with a view to invest in country-owned plans. The GSF should follow up on these principles and provide guidance as to how they can be operationalized. This is only partially realized in this draft. The CFS is already established as the main international coordination forum for food security. Thus, we do not see a need for new mechanisms here, but rather suggest that regional cooperation should have a defined place in the CFS. It could figure as a standing item on the CFS agenda or we could ask the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) to undertake a study of regional platforms and cooperation and suggest improved coordination. QUESTION: How can GSF be linked to regional and national food security and nutrition frameworks and strategies, and accountability and monitoring mechanisms, in ways that promote two-way coordination and convergence? - See our reply to question 3. In addition, we highlight the need for a structure for cooperation and coordination within the UN-system for food security. The High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (HLTF) was established to provide guidance on how respond to the extraordinarily high food and agricultural prices in 2007/2008. The HLTF has since provided and updated a Comprehensive Framework for Action CFA and we think that the GSF should address the relationship between the GSF and the CFA. Furthermore, we refer to our remarks under Question 2 and the need to link food security work in the UN with work in the environmental pillar. That way we may address, in a comprehensive way, the natural resources vs food security/climate change/energy security-dilemma. Thus, the GSF must explicitly be based upon already agreed principles and frameworks to assist the national states and other relevant stakeholders in the follow up processes. General comments - The reformed Committee on Food Security (CFS) encompasses a wider group of members than before and has been given a stronger mandate to act as the focal arena of the UN system for food security. The CFS should become the foremost inclusive forum for the global governance of food security. For this to happen there is a need for an overarching guiding frame¬work like GSF. We welcome the central role given to the CFS in the Global Strategic framework for food security and nutrition (GSF). - We welcome the reflection of the right to adequate food in this first version. For the GSF to substantially make a difference, the human rights approach should be fully integrated in the upcoming second draft – with an emphasis on monitoring and accountability. Important elements that should be further improved in the upcoming second draft includes defending secure land tenure and recognition of the human rights dimension of social protection. - A right based approach is needed in the section on addressing gender in food security and nutrition. Women as active food producers face many forms of structural discrimination, depriving them of their rights to self-determination. There should be reference to land tenure and inheritance rights, equal access and control and ownership of the entire agriculture production chain. - Other emerging challenges is the lack of strategic food reserves and lack of social safety nets that affectes women and men in poor and marginalized communities. There is also a need to develop policies to protect common property resources and regulate investments on agriculture lands for food. It is urgent to intensify combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing on national, regional and global levels. - Section II present comprehensive lists of causes and challenges concerning food security and nutrition. It should be made very clear that climate change is a growing threat to food security in many regions of the world. There is a need for more climate-resilient farming methods and new cultivation methods that make agriculture more resilient to drought and floods. There is a large untapped potential for synergies between food security, adaptation and climate change mitigation from land-based agricultural practices, which could help to generate the multiple benefits needed to address the multiple demands placed on agriculture. - Competition for land, water and energy will intensify. Sustainable intensification is vital because meeting additional food demand puts additional pressure on natural resources. Strategic options along the food value chain include changes in patterns of agricultural production, integrated management of access to natural resources and assigning greater value to sustainability in food markets. - The draft reflects that over one third of the food produced today is not eaten. That lost and wasted food is costly, as it represents a missed opportunity to feed the growing world population and comes at a steep environmental price. Governments should explore incentives for the reduction of waste in the food system including addressing post harvest losses. - A major challenge in the years to come will be to match the natural resource base to the demands of development in all parts of the world and to balance central elements such as food and energy security. The CFS should signal explicitly that this is a central and emerging dilemma for food security. By doing so, the CFS may forge a link with the environmental part of the UN system to ensure better coordination within the UN. We wish to emphasize the decreasing quality and availability of natural resources as a major concern for food security. We therefore suggest a bullet point on degradation of ecosystem services and depletion of natural resources in the context of climate change and population growth. - To meet the projected demands for food, farmers will have to build climate resilience and adapt sustainble agronomic practices protecting and enhancing the natural resource base. This requires a holistic approach to land management. Norway feels this should be included as an emerging challenge. - Smallholder agriculture dominates both in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Strengthening the productivity of these farmers will be crucial for both poverty reduction and food security. Still the focus should not be on small-scale farmers only. When discussing food security in the light of scarce natural resources and a growing world population, all forms of agriculture and fisheries must be considered. - The list under para 39 should include to create an enabling policy environment that provides incentives for production increases and the development of effective input and output markets, as well as provisions for sustainable fisheries and fish farming development; - The list relating to improving regional support to national and local action under para 84 should include: Support to regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) to address shared stocks and shared marine ecosystems through regional cooperation - The World Summit on Food Security in 2009 underlined the special responsibility of the reformed CFS in the follow up of the Declaration and the Five Rome Principles which are listed in part III. However, we believe that these principles should be laid down as the main framework for the GSF as they are succinct and forward-looking as well as comprehensive and precise. The IAASTD-report should not be singled out to be the central reference document against which all new recommendations should be considered. - The last section “Uniting and organizing to fight hunger” points a way forward and the list of suggested actions are comprehensive. The paragraphs concerning reporting, monitoring and follow up, however, are weak and should be made more specific and concrete. The role of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food should also be clarified. - GSF must include a procedure for updating itself, i.e. a description of processes for reviewing underlying analyses and for defining new challenges. The role of HLFE in this should be defined, as well as the role of the three Rome-based agencies and other relevant multilateral institutions Specific comments Although the list of root causes, emerging challenges and critical lessons are extensive we find that more points could easily be added to the lists. We have highlighted some of the points we find important: - All three lists could have mentioned some of the regional causes and challenges concerning food security and nutrition. Emerging challenges- The list under para 20 should include: - Lack of strategic food reserves and lack social safety nets has affected women and men in poor and marginalized communities. - Domestic and foreign land grabbing. There is a need to develop policies to protect common property resources and regulate investments on agriculture lands for food. - Combatting illegal, unrapported and unregulated (IUU)-fishing on national, regional and global levels; Concerning the 4th section Policy, Programme and other Recommendations, you propose in the last sentence of para 36 that recommendations should be considered in the light of the findings of the IAASTD report. We suggest that this sentence be removed as it limits recommendations to one specific report which is not ratified by a large number of countries. The list under para 39 should include: - Create an enabling policy environment that provides incentives for production increases and the development of effective input and output markets, as well as provisions for sustainable fisheries and fish farming development; - Concerning the 5th section Uniting and Organizing to Fight Hunger the list relating to improving regional support to national and local action under para 84 should include: - Support to regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) to address shared stocks and shared marine ecosystems through regional cooperation

Posted on 17.04.2012 4:34 pm

Federal Office for Agriculture and Food/ Co-Facilitator of the SUN Donor Network, Dr. Hanns-Christoph Eiden, Germany, Member States

Responding to your 4 questions, the draft is quite fine, it raises the important aspects and recalls to a large extent what has been discussed and approved earlier. On questions 3 and 4 there is a need to describe more clearly, what should happen now and to indicate, what is already going on. In this respect I do regret that the draft does not mention at all the work of the Scaling Up Nutrition Initiative, which is growing fast and aiming at a cross-sectorial and multi-stakeholder approach for nutrition on country level and and an increased awareness in global discussions. Therefore I would propose to as a new chapter 77a: "The Scale Up Nutrition Movement (SUN) was initiated in September 2010 to encourage increased political commitment to accelerate reductions in global hunger and under-nutrition, within the context of the right to adequate food security for all. The Movement is growing rapidly:governments from 27 countries with high levels of under-nutrition have committed to scale up nutrition. they are supported by a broad range of domestic stakeholders from multiple sectors and global networks of donors, civil society, businesses, research bodies and the United Nations system. Governments and their partners in the movement are increasing resources for nutrition and better aligning their financial and technical support with these national priorities. They are helping countries implement their specific nutrition interventions and their nutrition-sensitive development strategies. They are working with SUN countries in a whole of Government approach that seeks to ensure improved nutrition outcomes across multiple sectors such as agriculture, health, social welfare, education or environment. Those in the Movement are working together to reduce fragmentation at the national, regional and global levels, stimulate coherence and alignment around food security and nutrition policies, and support the realization of results." Thank you for considering my proposal. I do hope that many others support me in underlining that SUN is an initiative which is really driving forward the objectives of the draft GSF and should be mentioned as a core initiative.

Posted on 04.04.2012 1:55 pm

Permanent Representation of Iraq to the UN Agencies in Rome, Ala Al-Mashta, Iraq, Member States

I have few general comments on the first draft of the GSF, as listed below: 1. When reading the draft, I think it is well handled, but I found it contains a lot of explanation about existing frameworks and unnecessary introductions to hunger, nutrition issues etc, that make the draft a long document. the structure of the document may need little bit of rearrangement by gathering all the introductory parts and the definitions in one annex to be attached to the draft in order to maintain the GSF a technical framework of recommendations as much as possible. 2. no. IV (Policy, Programme and other Recommendations) / Paragraph B : Recommendations consider new Recommendation as : “recommend the national bodies to mobilize a budget allocated for the smallholders as compensations for the harvest loss due to environment change”. Also, “ to improve extension service to ensure dissemination of information and knowledge through establishing in Agri-Educational media tools or channels specialized in providing the stakeholders the access to necessary information in nutrition, successful methods of production and video records of the latest technologies used in these realms”. 3. Section G (Nutrition), perhaps including also the Private and public sector with the local government in the process of consultations of programmes. Paragraph no. 66 : I don’t see the need to limit the investors within the category of national governments. In some countries and in some cases international or foreign investors can provide better offers or options in terms of financial, budgetary and technical aspects of investment. 4. Section H (Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests): consider adding a recommendation stating “encouraging the governments to come up with new policies, if not existing, to monitor and carry out statistics on regular bases to prevent violations attempting at transforming the agricultural lands to residential lands, as it is a serious problem in many countries. 5. consider adding the following to the recommendations stated in the draft: - “establish safety networks to provide the necessary nutritional substances for the vulnerable sections of the people; giving priority to the homeless poor rural people.” - “establish training and educational governmental institutions for the rural stakeholders in order to enable them have stronger role in the agricultural productivity ”. A lot of rural farmers lack the simplest technologies in agriculture, and opening the opportunity for them to acquire new techniques can rise the production level.

Posted on 04.04.2012 10:13 am
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